Nikon D3100 Review

November 29, 2010 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | |

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#1 Hassan

Can you guys please review Sony a580, I want to know which one to go for Canon 60d or Sony a580….....please please review it quickly, thanks.

4:27 pm - Monday, November 29, 2010

#2 Hassan

thank you very much, I was waiting for this review.

4:50 pm - Monday, November 29, 2010

#3 AC

I just bought one of these. It’s a great light-duty camera. I wouldn’t use it for a job that needed super high latitude in blacks, or a still life, but for pro grade candids and portraits, it’s really great. I bought the 28-10 to go with it and have been quite pleased thus far. The interface is quite idiot proof, and i like that one has to hold it up to one’s eye, so one isn’t reliant on the screen for sharpness.

6:16 pm - Monday, November 29, 2010

#4 Andrei

I consider to buy one of this. Your review was very helpful.

8:10 pm - Monday, November 29, 2010

#5 Rod

I bought one of these when they first were available and I’m very pleased with it. I currently also own a Nikon D90 and was looking for something simple for my wife to use. It’s nearly impossible to take a bad shot with the d3100 on auto which is good for my wife. Plus it has just enough functionality to make me happy.

The video mode isn’t all its advertised to be…you can hear the servos in AF-F (continual auto-focus) mode which gets picked up by the mic, and the AF-F mode can have trouble focusing under less than ideal lighting conditions…however, it’s still good enough in AF-S mode to capture those moments when the video camera isn’t around.

But it takes excellent pictures for a so-called “entry level camera”. And aren’t stills the most important part of a camera? I would recommend this camera to anyone looking for excellent photos in a very simple and light package.


12:12 am - Tuesday, November 30, 2010

#6 hstjkt

caution: noobs not allowed to buy this camera…. Go for compact cameras u all noobs…. :-]

9:19 am - Tuesday, January 4, 2011

#7 ann

can you please help me choose between nikon d3100, canon 1000d and canon 450d..thanks..

9:27 am - Tuesday, January 4, 2011

#8 baboom

i wish to get a camera ~ can someone tell me which is better? canon g12? nikon p7000 or nikon d3100?

2:14 pm - Saturday, January 8, 2011

#9 Hassan

@baboom You can compare between G12 and Nikon P7000 because both are high end compact cameras. BUT you cannot compare them with D3100 because it is DSLR with much bigger sensor with much much better ISO performance. DSLR always bigger and more expensive. You should determine your needs and your budget.
This link will help you to understand the differences between DSLRs and compact cameras.

2:31 pm - Saturday, January 8, 2011

#10 jason

wish to have a dslr,someone help me to choose,nikon D3100 o sony a390…im new user..tq

3:59 pm - Sunday, January 9, 2011

#11 Hassan

For DSLR, I believe that Nikon and Canon are the best. They have a full set of accessors and lenses. Keep in mind that you are not just buying a camera. You are investing in camera system. Therefore look for a system which will cover your needs in the future.

4:10 pm - Sunday, January 9, 2011

#12 jason

thanks hassan!!yr suggestion very helpful,wish can get d3100 soon…u nice…

4:32 pm - Sunday, January 9, 2011

#13 Hassan

@ Jason
If it will be your first DSLR, I think the following website is very good for you.

4:38 pm - Sunday, January 9, 2011

#14 jason

anyone no wat is de difference bettwen len 35 1.8 n 18-55mm,which is better to d3100??

4:22 pm - Sunday, January 16, 2011

#15 Hassan

@ Jason
the 35mm/1.8 is fixed focal lens, so no zoom. it is prime fast♯ lens. the 35mm on D3100 will be 52mm which is normal focal lens (as human eye prospective).

18-55mm is 3X zoom lens but it is a slow lens (3.5 -5.6). on d3100 will be equivalent to 27-82 mm.
If you should between them go with 35mm. It is very fast and will help you to learn more. For zooming just use your take few steps forward/backward.

4:38 pm - Sunday, January 16, 2011

#16 Dev

I purchased this camera recently. I thought that that images i will take will not be as good as the sample images here but i am surprised that i have taken far better, Sharper, Brighter images using the camera. I can send you the samples if you want send me email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Every thing is fine on the camera except 1 point.

Nikon Advertises as its 1080p. But its not true 1080p. Its an upscale of the 720p in real.

But i am happy with the 720p (Don’t get fooled like me its not 1080p in real)

12:43 am - Thursday, January 20, 2011

#17 Hassan

@Dev Nikon D3100 is not a good choice for anyone looking for real video options. There is no manual controls during video recording like canon 550D.
For stills, I think it is the best entry level now. The Nikon controls is much easier and logical (for me) than Canon but for videos you have only one choice now Canon.

11:00 am - Thursday, January 20, 2011

#18 Jay

Finally got my DSLR(D3100), i change de kit lens to 35 1.8. Iszit ok or not?considering 55-200 and 55-300 , which lens is suitable and better?anyone can give me some expert comment,TQ.

5:04 pm - Saturday, January 22, 2011

#19 Hassan

Congratulations! 35mm/1.8 is very good learning tool. The kit lens is not very bad. It is sharp but not fast and its build quality not good as 35mm. I think 18mm in kit lens @f/3.5 is very good for the price.
Do not rush to get a new lens now. Take your time and learn your camera then define your needs. I believe that after using the 35mm, you will not accept the quality of 55-200 & 55-300 specially they are slow lenses. Invest in the best lenses you can afford.

Go and shoot :)

5:17 pm - Saturday, January 22, 2011

#20 Anas

Very nice one, very pleased with it, still need help to have good night shot.

11:44 pm - Thursday, January 27, 2011

#21 N'fans

wan 2 shot wide angle with d3100,any suggestion 4 me…need which lens to go….TQ…

11:22 am - Monday, January 31, 2011

#22 Dev

Less the focal length wider the frame. Human eye vission is 52mm Approx less then 52mm is Wider and more than 52 is magnification. 35mm f:1.8 would be good.

3:21 pm - Monday, January 31, 2011

#23 jason

50mm f1.8 can use on d3100 o not?

4:14 pm - Monday, January 31, 2011

#24 Dev

@jason 50mm f:1.8 is good enough. Every lens has its specific purpose. But if you are interrested in wide angle then 35mm would be much better.

50mm would be good for shooting figures at little distance with a medium depth of field.

Every lens has a “green zone”
Green zone is a range in its f speed where the image will be sharp. for example

if you have the default 18-55mm lens take 2 shots.

Set camera to Apperture Priority Mode
Put the camera on a table or tripod and use the timer to shoot(There should not be any shake). rotate the lens to 55mm

1. with f:8
2. with f:22

you will see that the image taken with f:8 will be much much sharper than f22

Conclussion :Dont just concentrate only on the f:Speed of the lens.(If you are new to Entry level DSLR)

add me on skype “shonti_kol” we can have a live chat

Please forgive me for bad grammer and spellings


6:49 pm - Monday, January 31, 2011

#25 Anas

I really start to love it, the Auto mode can shot nice pictures if you remove the flash from the option, the clours became more or less brighter and lively
Working out to shot the fire work now

6:44 am - Tuesday, February 1, 2011

#26 Maryam Azhar

i am so much interested in Portraits specifically candid shoots where the other person wont guess i am capturing him. So any suggestions for lens go with D3100??

1:41 am - Thursday, February 10, 2011

#27 achira shah

hey can u help me with which dslr should i go for… with ma budget being 30000-35000…
can u teme the options i wud have in nikon n canon?

8:09 am - Thursday, February 10, 2011

#28 ExRNsnapper

This is probably the best entry level camera on the market and in many ways makes the supposedly higher level 5000 look inferior. However there is one heck of a jump up to the 7000 which costs £1000 for the body alone against the 3100 at just over £400 with kit lense in the the U.K. I’m waiting for the 5100 which must come out soon to rectify this situation, which I guess will be priced at £6/700 with kit lense. On the other hand I may go for the Sony A580 which is available now with 16.2 m/pxls at around £600 or wait until March for the A560 which is exactly the same but with 14.2 m/pxls and will cost much the same as the Nikon 3100.

10:16 pm - Tuesday, February 15, 2011

#29 H

i wouldnt go for sony a580 or a560 if i were u as i am using it and not very happy with it, images can be soft at times and above iso 800 you can start seeing grain, anyways i would recommend to go for canon 60d or canon 600d, they both are good.

12:14 am - Wednesday, February 16, 2011

#30 ExRNsnapper

Thanks H, but the 60d is too expensive for me, if I was going to go for a canon it would be the 550d but I think that is over-priced too and who needs 18mg/pxls. With regard to softness of images in A580, I believe you can set the camera at a sharper image setting. Check out the review at this Blog.

1:14 am - Wednesday, February 16, 2011

#31 D Bose

Don’t buy this camera from India ( Lots of problems on those models made in Thailand ). Indian Service centers cannot repair this product just like the new one. They will not even Replace with new one. So Beware of this.

Once Major problem is lots of Dead Pixels in Slow Shutter Speed. Noise Reduction Does not work well.

This Camera is a feature rich Risk at low price specially in India.

8:08 pm - Saturday, February 19, 2011

#32 shubhada

1) Is it possible to buy only body (without kit lens) of nikon D3100?

6:27 pm - Sunday, March 6, 2011

#33 Low Budget Dave

I bought this with the stock lens, and it fits my needs pretty well.  Image quality is excellent up to iso 800, so it allows me to use a fast shutter speed to get rid of camera shake.  Even at 1600 and 3200, it is still better than my old compact at 400. 

The new compacts are better, but not anywhere near this.  Even something like the S95 shows more grain at iso iso800 than a D3100 at iso3200.  Similar, but the DSLR wins over the compact in everything but the brightest sunlight.

The picture quality is similar to the Pentax K-r, and the Canon t3i.  If you took pictures and compared them without knowing which was which, not one person in a million could tell the difference.  The Nikon has more built-in noise reduction and loses some detail compared to the Canon, but the underexposure and overexposure that everyone claims to see is not visible to me.  I doubt anyone else can see it unless they have three pictures side by side and they are comparing the brightness. 

I could have bought a better lens, but the camera with the standard lens was only $100 more than the body only.  Because the whole package was under $600, I still have money left to buy a high end lens if I need it.

I would have liked to see more weatherproofing, and in-body image stabilization.  I guess that costs more money.  The Pentax k7 has both, for example, but it is about $500 more.  I would like to see exposure bracketing, but honestly, not my biggest issue.

If you want something that shoots better pictures than any point-and-shoot ever made, then get the d3100.  I have nothing against Pentax and Canon, but I like the focus-while-filming and I like the price.

6:33 pm - Friday, April 1, 2011

#34 Juhaina

I know this is a DSLR camera and we can’t really compare it with Coolpix L120,but as I have been to the store recently and checked them both out; I generally found L120 to really take better quality photos than the D3100.. And as I read reviews of both, D3100 is mentioned to take “excellent” quality photos while L120 to take “acceptable to good” quality photos, which I find surprising .. ?
However, I know in the long term I could benefit from D3100 by getting better lens, but as for just taking quality standard photos without having to go all pro, which is better recommended?

7:06 pm - Tuesday, April 19, 2011

#35 Low Budget Dave

I didn’t mean to imply that there was any way to compare a big sensor DSLR to a small sensor superzoom. 

The L120 takes great pictures for $280.  You might be able to get better pictures without going to a bigger sensor, but only a little better.

Once you go to the big sensor, though, everything changes.  The big sensor gives you a lot less noise in low light, a lot less grain at fast speeds, and a lot better looking depth of field when you shoot portrait.

The bigger sensors are not only way sharper, but you can post-edit the pictures a lot more to fiddle with sharpness, noise, and so on.  The D3100 also has other advantages in color processing and controls that will get you much better pictures in certain circumstances.

If you can afford the bigger sensor, I would go ahead and get it.  It is heavier, and more expensive, but it really is better. 

The only downsid: With the bigger sensor, you will never have to wonder if it was the camera’s fault that you took a bad picture.

12:25 am - Thursday, April 21, 2011

#36 sunil khera

Photography has been dream for me since childhood.  i hve one compact camera i.e sony w35 with it i shoot my vacations, relatives wedding and other daily. i want to shoot evrything from people to landscape. now i want to do like pro. I hve’nt have any diploma or course in photography… I want to do my own. I am a 35 yr old and I am graphic designer in ad agency and as per my budget, d3100 is my dream gadget.. should i go for this investment? At this age, can i fullfill my dream to be a pro-photographer?

5:51 pm - Friday, April 22, 2011

#37 sid

bought the D3100 in singapore for a good price ,can you suggest a wide angle lens for this, has anyone heard of the 0.7X PRO HD wide angle lens from Emolux

thanks in advance

6:31 pm - Tuesday, May 3, 2011

#38 a deb

@sunil: yes, one of India’s best pro photographer started shooting at 35.

But if you have such ambitions, the D5100 /D7000 will be a better option as you can actually start doing some semi-professional work with it.

5:51 pm - Sunday, May 22, 2011

#39 Emma

I am going on holiday to Canada and I will be doing activities that range from sight seeing to whale watching and I want a camera that is able to catch those all important shots quickly before they are gone !

I have been recommend the Nikon 3000, Fujifilm finepix HS10 and the Nikon p100.  But is this D3100 any better?

Could someone please suggest the best one for a beginner interested in photography.

2:41 pm - Friday, June 10, 2011

#40 Emma Y

i am going on holiday to Canada and I will be doing activities that range from sight seeing to whale watching and I want a camera that is able to catch those all important shots quickly before they are gone !

I have been recommend the Nikon 3000, Fujifilm finepix HS10 and the Nikon 3100.

could someone please suggest the best one for a beginner interested in photography.

2:45 pm - Friday, June 10, 2011

#41 Low Budget Dave


For most purposes, you will like the D3100 or the D3000.  The picture quality is much better than any of the small sensor point-and shoot cameras, and cost and size are not that much more. 

The D3000 is cheaper, so if you don’t (ever) want to shoot movies, you can save some money.  I would spend the extra few dollars, though, and get the movie capability.  Even though the movie mode is not as good as the micro 4/3 cameras, it is way better than a camera phone, and easily good enough to justify the extra money.

2:42 am - Saturday, June 11, 2011

#42 Brian

Hi I got a Nikon F65 with 2 lenses ...Nikkor 28/80 1:3.3/5.6G & 75/240 1:4.5/5.6D….are they compatible with the D3100 ? or am i better off buying with the standard lens attached?

2:34 pm - Saturday, June 25, 2011

#43 Hassan

If your lenses are AFS, will work with no problem.if your lenses are AF will not auto focus on D3100 because it does not have built-in motor

6:00 pm - Saturday, June 25, 2011

#44 AC

I really like this camera. I just wish it had video.

7:29 pm - Saturday, June 25, 2011

#45 Hassan

sure it has HD video option

7:32 pm - Saturday, June 25, 2011

#46 brian

Thanks Hassan..they are AF lens so i guess its the same with D3000 as well? no auto focus?

3:45 pm - Sunday, June 26, 2011

#47 Hassan


They will not Auto focus on D3000, D3100, D5000, or D5100. They will auto focus with any Nikon body has built-in motor such as D90, D7000, D300, etc.

3:50 pm - Sunday, June 26, 2011

#48 Snapper

There are more options to DSLR’s than Nikon and Canon. Because they dominate the market they are generaly over-priced. Forget megapixels, 12 is all you need unless you plan to print wallpaper size! If you check some high end DSLR’s they only have about 12 megs, as per the well respected (but over-priced) Nikon D90. In my opinion the best entry/mid level DSLR on the market at the moment is the Pentax K-r. Well built, superb image quality and able to do everything you would want to do and a lot of things you never thought of! It was originally launched to compete with the likes of the Nikon D5000/Canon 550D but has dropped in price to under £400. Read the review on this site.

9:21 pm - Sunday, July 31, 2011

#49 Jon Rice

I have taken thousands of photographs with this camera in RAW and JPEG.  It is a very capable camera but…now that I have had it for a while and would really like to do some HDR photography I find this seriously impeded by the lack of a bracketing option. And though the Video is very clear, I was disgusted to discover that each recording is limited to only ten minutes and there is no external microphone option.  When I bought the camera I was expecting such basic things to be included. After all the thing is highly sophisticated in other respects.  I think that Nikon must have purposely left these things out so that the 3100 couldn’t rival more professional cameras.  I have always bought Nikon cameras and scanners and I do not expect to discover nasty little constraints being built into otherwise good products. Of course the camera shop knew nothing about these drawbacks. The customer discovers them after purchasing the product.  I would not give this camera a five star rating. It cannot take bracketed shots and its HD video functionality is flawed too.

6:29 pm - Tuesday, August 2, 2011

#50 Debbie

important to get those far away bleacher seating shots.. sports like waterpolo and football and surfing. I am looking for clarity and sharpness in live action. will this camera do the trick?? it is in my budget.  I want to focus in on the person and the action and I want the details of the water splashing and the sweat pouring.  Is this camera going to do that for me? 
Thanks, Debbie

6:40 pm - Sunday, August 7, 2011

#51 shridhar

I’m planning to buy this camera from ebay India. I just read someone posted that there are problems with the product available in India.. So i’m in dilemma now. Pls suggest.

6:14 am - Tuesday, August 9, 2011

#52 xndrl

need an opinion. which is better between nikon d3100 and canon 1100d?

5:46 pm - Tuesday, August 9, 2011

#53 Vic

Xndri, if I were you I would buy the September issue of What Digital Camera magazine where the Nikon D3100 & Canon 1100D are pitted against the Pentax K-r, and both lose out!

12:50 am - Friday, August 12, 2011

#54 adam

hi, could someone please tell me if the d3100 with take slow shutter speed pictures as i wanna take them pictures where u have a city sence but the car lights etc are streaming through it??


8:51 pm - Tuesday, August 16, 2011

#55 Low Budget Dave

Adam, they may have mentioned it in the review, but the maximum shutter time is 30 seconds.  Anything more than about 10 seconds will give you a good streaming effect.  Since you can get low iso and slow shutter on many compact cameras, you can can get the same effect much cheaper, but you will find that the color on the d3100 (and almost any DSLR) is much better than any ultracompact camera.

11:15 pm - Tuesday, August 16, 2011

#56 joesan

hi hassan! im so impressed with your comments and replies. thanks!
im a beginner with DSLRs but im into photography since 10 years but not with DSLR, only digicams like sony cybershot digicam. now, i decided to go for DSLR and i have future plans, like after 5-8 years, of putting up a photography shop as a business. can anybody advice me please if i’d go for nikon d3100 or nikon d5100, considering the specs and the price? i will buy it tomorrow. pls advice ASAP. thank you in advance.


12:22 am - Saturday, August 20, 2011

#57 N13L5

Would love it, if anyone had some advice on what I’d gain and loose with a Panasonic G3, in comparison to this…?

Obviously, the G3 is smaller and lighter, and this is an entry level Nikon…

Looks like the G3 has a better movie mode, but the Nikon has a bigger sensor…

Overall, they are just hard to compare, cause its apples and oranges, but I have to compare anyway, cause I can’t reasonably buy both…

4:42 pm - Sunday, September 11, 2011

#58 Low Budget Dave

In answer to the last question, the D3100 and the G3 are actually very similar.  The image quality is similar, the prices and features are very similar, and you can’t really go wrong with either one.

The G3 has a touchscreen, and much better video quality, while the D3100 will have a little better depth of field and the pictures will appear to have more “impact”. 

The Panasonic is not that much smaller, but it is small enough that you may find yourself carrying it to places where you would not bother with the Nikon.  If you get used to the touchscreen focusing, you may find yourself not ever wanting to go back to the “focus and recompose” method.

If you are willing to put up with the extra weight and extra fuss, you can get very good bokeh from the Nikon using only the kit lens.  The kit lens on the Panasonic gives you roughly half as much bokeh at any given setting.

But the camera you have with you always takes better pictures than the one back in the closet.

12:55 am - Monday, September 12, 2011

#59 N13L5

Thanks for your answer, Dave!

I should have mentioned my main interest, which is low light photography and portraits.  From further reading of reviews and such, it seems the very best low light performance on a budget under € 1000 would be available with the combination of a Nikon D5100 and the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50 mm 1:1,4 G prime lense, which is said to work well as a standard lense and a “short” portrait lens.

There may be other cameras that outdo the D5100 on a lot of things, but apparently not when it comes to low light performance…?

If anybody thinks I got that wrong and knows a better low light kit, please do let me know :D

5:24 pm - Monday, September 12, 2011

#60 sen

I got a D3100 with a nikkor 18-105 AF-S VR. Now I am absolutely new to SLR use and have the following question: If I have auto focus turned ON in both the camera and lens, is it possible for me to roughly focus (MANUALLY) on the point of my interest and then half press the shutter to do the finer focusing (by auto focus)?

11:45 am - Tuesday, October 25, 2011

#61 hamster

is this camera has no big difference with D5100?coz im condiering to buy D5100…but my frens recommended me to buy this one…any ideas?

9:29 am - Tuesday, November 1, 2011

#62 Low Budget Dave

Hamster, the d5100 includes exposure bracketing, a newer sensor, and a tilting screen.  The tilting screen is mostly useful for video, but on a DSLR, some people don’t use it at all.  The newer sensor is slightly better in low light, but the extra megapixels hurt this size sensor almost as much as they help.  I can’t imagine most people would use exposure bracketing enough to justify the extra cost, but that is different from person to person.  The auto exposure on this camera is pretty good, and you rarely have a missed shot due to bad exposure. 

Both are good cameras for the money, and both do a lot of things well.  You can spend a lot more on cameras that don’t take any better pictures.

10:48 am - Tuesday, November 1, 2011

#63 hamster

okok…so means if i just want to take picture may just go for D3100 right?coz i think D5100 is too much for me…

3:40 pm - Wednesday, November 2, 2011

#64 Low Budget Dave

Ham, That is what I would say.  For just plain taking pictures, you will like it every bit as much as the D5100, and better than some other cameras.  As we get close to black Friday, I bet you will see some sale prices on the 3100.

11:05 pm - Wednesday, November 2, 2011

#65 Garry

I bought a D3100 3 weeks ago, and it really is dreadful.  It overexposes like mad, and uses the flash outdoors, even when it has selected high iso.  The kit lens isn’t too good either, I haven’t had any sharp shots from it yet.  Every macro shot I’ve tried, it pops up the flash and blows out the subject.
I tried a 100-300 zoom on it.  It’s not too bad at 100, but at about 150+ it overexposes really badly.  I have to keep adjusting exposure compensation every time I move the zoom.
All the automatic settings are unusable, and in the manual modes it’s inconsistant as well.

If you do buy one, don’t get it from Currys.  They think overexposed pictures are acceptable, and won’t take the camera back.
My parents have a 99 quid Samsung compact which beats this Nikon for picture quality.

5:49 pm - Thursday, November 3, 2011

#66 Hassan


I had this camera since last April. It is very good camera. I used it in many situations. The image quality is much much better any compact camera in the market. I used it with different lenses 35/f1.8, 50/f1.8 and 18-55. Before I brought this camera, I read many reviews by many professionals. Non of them mentioned such problems. I could conclude from your comment that D3100 is your first DSLR. In DSLR world, you should learn some basics about photography. Don’t leave the camera makes all the decisions.
The flash outdoors is essential in many cases as a fill flash. The kit lens is not the best lens but let me tell you something it is sharp enough. Kindly review your photos (not sharp ones) and check your shutter speed. This lens is not fast, therefore in low light situations the camera select a very slow shutter speed like (1/10 s). For this case you should use tripod. Also check your auto focus mode.

It is my blog. All photos with my D3100. The majority was taken by the kit lens.

8:20 pm - Thursday, November 3, 2011

#67 Low Budget Dave


I have to go with Hassan on this one.  Many cameras overexpose the photo when using matrix-style metering because it is easier to pull out low noise detail from an overexposed image than from an underexposed one. 

If you have one area of dark shadow on a sunny day, and you are using matrix metering, the camera will give more weight to the dark shadow.  This is an intentional decision by Nikon.

If you feel your pictures are always overexposed, you have several choices.  You can switch to center-weighted or spot metering, or you can just change the exposure compensation.

Nikon sells about a million dslr’s a year, and a pretty good chunk of them use this same exposure calculation.  If everyone had this problem, it would have cut into their sales figures long before now.

As to your complaint about Cameta, that is a different issue.  One of the big things I look for in a camera vendor is the ability to return a camera with a minimal restocking fee.  I rarely use that option, but I look for it all the time.

If you look at the prices for “like new” d3100’s, you will find that you can most likely sell it used, and still get back 90% of your investment, or more.  They are selling new on Amazon for $549, and the cheapest “like new” this morning is $510.  At many places, that is less than the restocking fee.

11:56 am - Friday, November 4, 2011

#68 amanda

i have been using a compact for a long time but now i want to upgrade to a dslr. im torn between the canon 600d and nikon d3100. my criteria is that it must take good clear and sharp shots, the camera should be realtively light as i intend to bring it on holidays and realtively easy to use. i do not intend to use the auto mode as i want control over how my pictures will turn out.
also on the topic, what is the difference between nikon and canon in image quality? thanks

12:30 pm - Friday, November 4, 2011

#69 amanda

i have been using a compact mostly but now i want to upgrade to a dslr. im torn between the canon 600d and nikon d3100. my criteria is that it should take good clear sharp photos, relatively light as i intend to bring it on holidays and relatively easy to use. i do not intend to use auto mode as i want control over how my pictures will turn out. pls advice thanks
still on the subject, what is the difference between canon and nikon entry level dslr in terms of image quality?

12:37 pm - Friday, November 4, 2011

#70 Hassan


I was in you situation few months ago. It was before Canon 600D was released. I was comparing D3100 and 550D. I was new to DSLR world at that time (almost one year ago). My advice for you is go to the local shops and try the both cameras in your hand. Try to change the settings and figure out which one is easier for you. Second thing you should consider the camera system not only the camera body. You should have a small plan about your next lens. For example If you chose Canon 50mm/f1.8 will be a must have first lens. If you go with Nikon 35mm/f1.8, it will be your best choice. If you interested in videos Canon has a full manual mode in lower end cameras like 600D. In contrast to Nikon which offers full manual controls in D7000 and higher end cameras only. If you thinking about advanced flash photography in the future Nikon will be good choice.
For me I selected Nikon over Canon because it is better in my hand. I was looking for all purpose lens like 35/f1.8 which is affordable for me. Also I have no plans for use my DSLR in video.
Keep shooting specially in manual mode. It will help you to learn a lot.

3:06 pm - Friday, November 4, 2011

#71 sinoak0

for the beginners who’s choosing to between canon eos 1100d and nikon d3100 here’s my advise since i am on the same spot as you =P after 2 weeks of hard research ( reviews, forum, asking friends ) here’s what i concluded ... first they are both EQUALLY great cameras and they both have pro’s and cons ... you really can’t get everything in one camera unless you buy the higher model ... so here’s the deciding factor for choosing either cameras

1.) how much are you willing to shell out for the unit and lenses ? in our country canon 1100d is much cheaper than nikon d3100 by 70 USD ( u can use the money to buy another lens =P ) just add a few more cash and “BOOM” new lens ( btw nikon lenses have much higher price rather than canon lenses ... that’s how it is in my country ) so check yours ...

2.) it will depend on what your friends DSLR ...  why ? it’ s becoz you can lend their lenses if your tight on budget =)

3.) service and warranty - this will depend on your contry service center ... in our country we only have one service center for nikon so service would be hard for us to get our camera fix

hope this would help some ppl out there normally beginers like me

thanks and goodluck on deciding what camera you choose ..

3:25 pm - Friday, November 4, 2011

#72 amanda

@ hassan and sinoak0 thanks for your replies. 
btw when do you use a low ISO like say, 100 and when do you use slightly higher ISO like 500? i know that high ISO would give a grainy effect but is there any other reason why we would change ISO? im a beginner so im still understanding how to make full use of my dslr…thanks :)

12:49 pm - Saturday, November 5, 2011

#73 Hassan

The main rule is trying to use low ISO as much as possible but Don’t underexpose your photos. Because ISO 800 photo will have more noise than ISO 1600 if it is underexposed. Don,t be afraid of using high ISO in DSLR it is much better than compact cameras. I remember that I made a comparison once between canon S90 and Nikon D3100 on Dxomark, I found that the Nikon noise at ISO 800 like canon noise at ISO 100.
You can use low ISO like ISO 100 in sunny day or if you have enough light (flashes). Also if you have a fast lens (smaller f-number <2.8), it will help you to keep your ISO low. Sometimes using tripod for non-moving subject with slow shutter speed helps to keep you ISO low.
I posted few photography websites in previous comments. I think it will help you to get started.
Keep in mind the best learning tool is your camera. Go out on shoot and learn from your mistakes.

5:06 pm - Saturday, November 5, 2011

#74 Low Budget Dave

Amanda,  Either of the cameras you are looking at will produce great pictures at ISO 800 and even ISO 1600.  It allows you to take much faster pictures (for when you need to get rid of motion blur), and it allows you to take pictures in much lower light (for night or indoors.)

If you let the camera pick its own ISO, you will see that these two cameras frequently choose ISO 800 and 1600 in indoor light.  This not only eliminates most of the blur from camera shake, but it helps if you have a fast-moving child in the picture.

There are a million web sites and forum posts that compare the two cameras.  If you search for a discussion, you will find more than you expect.

I am not an expert, but I find that most people are happy with either brand.

6:07 pm - Saturday, November 5, 2011

#75 sinoak0

@amanda here’s a guide for beginner it will teach you about everything you want to know as a beginner

8:05 am - Monday, November 7, 2011

#76 Diane

I have just become the proud owner of a Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera, with the 18-55 lens kit, and I am over the moon with it!  Within an hour of taking it out of its box, I was taking some stunning shots with it.  I was afraid that an SLR camera would be a bit too technical for me, but this one really is simple to use.  It is also lightweight even with the lens on.  The clarity of the photos is stunning.  The detail on the macro setting is amazing, and I loved the photos I was able to take in the pitch dark.  As I have three grandchildren, I also love the Child setting.  I know that I am going to have so much fun with this camera, and I would highly recommend it.  Taking a video is also amazingly simple.

2:07 pm - Friday, November 18, 2011

#77 swapnil ajgaonkar

I have Nikon D3100.when i shoot a photos sometime my camera was hang.That time remove battery and camera is working in good condition that type of problem i face frequently.anybody face that type of problem.

6:15 am - Saturday, November 26, 2011

#78 frikkie

just got it. take very nice pictures

4:40 am - Thursday, February 9, 2012

#79 JHenry

Nice camera, but if having a live histogram, and sharp LCD is a must, you have to go with the Canon.  The Canon’s display (in Live View as well) show the picture and scene exactly as it will look when it is uploaded.  The Nikon’s display does not.  The 3100 will show it somewhat yellowish and over or under exposed.

5:33 am - Monday, March 19, 2012

#80 tom Irwin

I own a Nikon D7000 after owning a D3100 for a year during which I took over 8,000 pictures with it of everything imaginable- beaches, night portraits, action, indoor, wineries, etc.  I also have extensively used a friend’s D5100.
Here is the bottom line- Images taken with the D3100 are every bit as good as the D5100 or D7000.  The D3100 s a GREAT camera and if you can’t get great images you either have a lemon or don’t know how to use the camera.  Here’s my write up on the D3100-

9:28 pm - Sunday, March 25, 2012

#81 John

Thank you for an in-depth review of your site. actually, I already have a pocket camera. However, because I love photography, I chose this camera and have ordered from amazon.

Can not wait to use this camera. :)

10:50 am - Saturday, June 23, 2012

#82 finnritz

I agree with Tom! I have the D3100 with a Nikkor 18-105 zoom lens, a combination which cover almost everything but macro and long tele. All plastic, but the images are exellent. Don’t buy the 18-55. Spend that bit extra for the 18-105. This lens is a jewel. See:
Bad photographers always blame the camera.

8:55 am - Friday, July 13, 2012

#83 buenavida

I know P510 is not a DSLR but I’m torn between D3100 and P510. I want a camera that is good for traveling. I am considering portability, ability to take distant night views, portraits, landscapes. I found a Nikon store selling the D3100 at almost the same price as P510. I think P510 would suit me more and I am an SLR noob. However, P510 is heavier and thicker I think. And D3100 will obviously take photos with better image quality. Which do you think should I get?

5:52 am - Saturday, December 22, 2012

#84 Tom Irwin

buenavida-  RE: D3100 vs P510:  The D3100 captures significantly better images due to its APS-C sensor (standard for consumer DSLR cameras) that is 12 times larger than the tiny sensor in the P510.  Beyond that the D3100 accepts interchangeable lenses, is 10% smaller & lighter and accepts an external flash in addition to its on board flash.  If you want state of the art images with the richness and color depth, greater dynamic range and the ability to capture everything from low light to rich portraits get the D3100.  It is available from Adorama with no tax and free delivery for $374.
The P510 is a toy and will give you less than professional looking images.  The D3100 is a real camera.  Trust me- get the D3100.

8:15 am - Saturday, December 22, 2012

#85 Dave

Buenavida:  The big advantage of the P510 is that you don’t need to carry a separate lens to shift from “chasing the kids around” to long-distance work.  Also, I am told the video quality is very good.

But for each type of photo, you can get a much better picture with the d3100.  Low-light pictures will have much less noise, and portraits will have a much more “3D” look due to the shallow depth of field.  Colors will look more natural and less “processed”. 

The P510, on the other hand, has a 1000mm (equiv) lens with a 42x zoom.  This is an amazingly long lens, but it is somewhat specialized.  When you are using the 1000mm mode, you are looking at things so far away that you will need very steady hands, or a tripod, just to keep looking in the same direction.  The image stabilization will take care of minor shake, but if you just had a big cup of coffee, you will have trouble keeping something that far away in the field of vision at all.

If you are like most people, you will also find that you rarely use it.  1000mm is what we usually call a “wildlife lens” because you can take a picture of a deer without the shutter click scaring him off.  But at that distance you also have to worry that all your pictures will come out a little gray due to smog and haze. 

If you do a lot of shooting on clear days in Montana, you might find yourself using the big zoom more than once a year, but then again, you might never use it at all.  Very few people take pictures of the Statue of Liberty, for example, and feel the need to zoom in and look for cracks.  Even if you do, the pictures will have more haze than context.

My advice is to get the d3100.  You will be happy with that for a long time.  If you ever need more reach, you can invest in a telephoto lens, or just buy one of the pocket-portable travel-zoom cameras with the built-in 20x lens.  Not only can you carry those everywhere (easily), but for the price, you will use 20x a lot more often than you would ever use 40x. 

The video quality on the pocket zooms is almost the exact same as the p510, and you have the added advantage that when your kid does something cute, you will actually have the camera with you.  This website is a good place to look up pocket zoom reviews.

9:25 am - Saturday, December 22, 2012

#86 Hassan

DSLRs are a real investment. DSLRs give chance to built up your gears. In contrast, with P510, after one year or max two years you will think about upgrading to new model. IF you have D3100 (there are alot of offers now), you could keep the body up-to five years and saving money for buying lenses and flashes…
Considering the sensor size and DSLR lenses quality, D3100 is far better than P510.
Regarding the portability, P510 is not a small camera. IF you are really keen about size you have alot of option now in the market with much better image quality and compact body with interchangeable lenses option.

For me DSLRs are better than the new compact mirrorless compact system because DSRLs have more buttons which are easier and faster to control your manual settings. Also DSLRs have much better grip and lenses options.
I am not a pro, I have D3100 for family only but I love photography (  (my blog)) and with DSLR I am learning more and more everyday. I had it since April 2011, and after few month I brought 35mm/f1.8. Now I am thinking about flashes not about upgrading the camera body. it is a really good start. I prefer Nikon but Canon also has many good options.

11:41 am - Saturday, December 22, 2012

#87 Tom Irwin

Dave- You do not need to change lenses to get a close up zoom with the D3100.  My recommendation for a light & inexpensive that’s very sharp is the Nikon 18-105 VR.  It gives you a full frame equivalent zoom range of 27-158mm and can be found used for $225 on Craigslist.  If you need more zoom in a single lens Tamron makes an 18-270 (27-405 equivalent).
Regarding the 42x zoom (1000mm equivalent) of the P510: 1). A 1000 zoom is not necessary for anything short of astronomy, 2). Trying to steady that camera with a 1000 zoom is virtually impossible, 3) Even if you could steady the camera the quality of image from a 42x zoom capturing images in the tiny sensor of the P510 would produce an unfocused, blurry image, not to mention the atmospheric haze problem.
I do agree with you that the D3100 is a great camera and currently the best bang for your buck in photography.  I shoot with a D7000 and have shot with a D5100 and D3100 and can confirm that the images from the D3100 equal the other two more expensive cameras mentioned as well as any other crop sensor on the market today.

8:50 pm - Saturday, December 22, 2012

#88 zara

never owned a dslr, and have been saving up for one and have finally decided to get this next week. ive done a beginner photography course so i know the basics of using an dslr and well hope to improve my skills in the summer. this seems ideal for someone with little experience

3:44 pm - Saturday, April 27, 2013

#89 dan

these are wicked cameras bought my bad boy <a href=“”>Nikon D3100<a> camera recently. agree with Zara looking forward to get some decent summer shots!

2:38 pm - Wednesday, May 22, 2013

#90 Moriarty

I purchased one of these cameras when they first came on the market here in Oz. It is an exceptionally well made and easy to use piece of equipment, however the picture quality is very disappointing, I could get sharper images off my Canon G11 point and shoot. My D3100 came with a twin lens kit, 18 - 70 & 55 - 200, could this be the problem. Some of the comments on this post suggest that a better dedicated lens system could result in far superior images. Any comments re this from other users?

11:02 am - Wednesday, July 17, 2013

#91 Tom Irwin

Moriarty-  If you could not get sharp images with your D3100 something is wrong with either the camera or possibly your technique/use of camera.  It is a great camera and produces very sharp images with rich color, detail and contrast.
My girlfriend and I each had a D3100 and along our journey had a D5100 and now each have D7000s.  All three models produce terrific images and it is not possible to distinguish what images were taken with which camera.  I think the D3100 is the best value in DSLR photography.
The kit lenses (18-55 and 55-200) are not the problem either.  Although limited to kit apertures they are capable of excellent images although in my experience the 18-55 may be slightly better.
Yes, there are better lenses but if you are not getting sharp images with the kit lenses the problem must be with the camera.  Find another Nikon user and ask them to check it out to determine if it is the camera or the user settings.  Good Luck.

2:59 pm - Wednesday, July 17, 2013

#92 Moriarty

Thank you Tom at #91 for your comments, they are encouraging and hopefully when I get some time I will follow-up your suggestions. The image quality as I have mentioned is very comparable to those from my Canon G11,(An excellent compact) this is possibly because I have basically used my D3100 simply as a point & shoot on auto.

4:22 pm - Wednesday, July 17, 2013

#93 Garry

Tha auto settings on the D3100 are dreadful.  You’ll have to learn how to use it in the non-auto settings in order to get anything decent out of it.

6:50 pm - Wednesday, July 17, 2013

#94 Tom Irwin

Moriarity-  The D3100 sensor is 8 times larger than that in the G11 and produces noticably better image quality.  The primary driver in image quality is the size of the sensor, everything else being equal.
I’ve not used the G11 but I do have experience with Canon’s D95 that uses a similar if not identical sensor the the G11.  No way does the G11 compete with the D3100.  The S95 has s slightly larger sensor and larger lens than most point & shoot cameras enabling it to be among the better/best of the small cameras.  But it lacks the dynamic range (ability to capture images with both bright and dark) without blowing out the highlights.  The S95/G11 also pushes the reds and blues excessively and sometimes produces what I experience as an overly analytical etched look.  Faces in particular can look overly sharpened and harsh with too much red.  Fiddling with in camera adjustments has not remedied this condition.
In comparison the Nikon sensor in the D3100 produces rich, lush colors.  The only limitation I’ve seen with the D3100 in comparison with the Sony sensor in the D5100 and D7000 is the latter has a bit more dynamic range and about 1/3 f/stop more light gathering.  But in the D3100’s favor is that it rarely over exposes whereas the D7000 can sometimes over expose in very bright light. 
As you can tell, I’m a big fan of the D3100.  It’s the smallest of the DSLR cameras and does most of the things the larger and more expensive cameras do. 
Suggestions-  Never shoot in Green Auto because you will lose control of what you are doing and the camera will push the ISO too high to gain shutter speed.  This can produce grainy images in low light even with flash. 
Try “P” (Program Mode) because it allows you to set a few critical parameters while the camera controls the rest.  This gives you freedom to point & shoot while exercising certain control.  For instance, in P mode you can control ISO.  Try setting it on Auto ISO from 100-maximum 400.  This will prevent the camera from boosting ISO up to 3200 causing noise.  For shooting outside try ISO 100 with the Auto ISO turned off.  Also, try setting metering at Matrix and focusing at Single Point.  Then you can move the red focusing dot in the viewfinder to aim your point of focus.
As you get more accustom to shooting move on to selecting Apeture and Shutter priority allowing you more control.  Get a book-  D3100 for Dummies as a reference to learn how and when to adjust more of the camera’s settings.
Best lenses are the primes- 35mm f/1.8G, and 50mm f/1.8G.  Best low cost walk-around lens is the 18-105VR and best zoom is the 70-300VR.  You can use Craigslist to sell your kit lenses and buy some upgrades.  The lenses and your technique will make much more difference than changing cameras.  You already own an excellent camera.

6:03 am - Thursday, July 18, 2013

#95 Moriarty

Thank you again Tom Irwin at #94, also Gary #93. I appreciated your constructive comments. I will pull my D3100 from the “bottom draw” and give it a thorough re-evaluation. Tom, I agree with you, it is a great camera, beautifully made with an all- round good feel about it. I have noted your comments about lenses and both your comments about shooting in “auto”. (Unfortunately, my present personal responsibilities prevent me from getting involved in serious photographic activity and has effectively reduced me to point and shoot only, even for pictures of my 1st great grandson!)

7:41 am - Thursday, July 18, 2013

#96 Millie

@Hassan…you seem to know what you are talking about. I am brand new at this. I think this is the camera I want,the Nikon D3100 but my question is,I love black and white stills.I love the deep depth you can achieve in some shots. I have no idea how this is done. Will I be able to shoot in black and white with this cam,or should I shoot in color then use a program on my laptop to sharpen it?

7:15 pm - Monday, July 29, 2013

#97 Millie

Or if anybody reads this,not just Hassan,and can help a novice…please! I have not yet purchased this camera so if there is a better one for begginers but take fantastic shots,chime in! Also,can I take this off auto mode?

7:18 pm - Monday, July 29, 2013

#98 Dave

Millie,  The D3100, like most Nikons, is pretty good at black and white, although personally, I prefer color.  There is an article at that describes how to shoot in B&W, or how to shoot in color and convert in camera.  I think the D3100 does either, but I have not tried either method.

The pictures that I have in B&W were all taken in color and converted afterward in the computer.  I like the computer method, because occasionally I like to filter down different color channels. 

10:14 pm - Monday, July 29, 2013

#99 sreeram

Can i buy this camera now or should i buy nikon coolpix p520 instead, please suggest me.

10:06 am - Wednesday, August 21, 2013

#100 Finn Ritz

sreeram: The Nikon P520 is a superzoom camera with a small sensor and not too good reviews. The huge tele zoom range is in practical life useless any way. Panasonic FZ200 (would be my favorite) and Canon HS50sx get higher scores. The D3100 is a DSLR with APS sensor which gives far better image quality. The two cameras can’t be compared directly. You must define your needs and how much money you have before purchase. I know the conflict in the I like/money ratio. I have Nikon D3200 with Nikkor 18-105mm (low budget and amazing IQ), Fuji X-S1 (my do it all camera) and the pocket always along Panasonic TZ25 (same sensor as the FZ200). All 3 are strong performers within their own segment, and I use all of them a lot depending on the subject. If I had unlimited funds for my hobby, the list would be quite different. For sure: If you are serious in the noble art of photography, you need a camera that can shoot in RAW.

3:45 pm - Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Entry Tags

hd video, review, hd, 3 inch LCD, 1080p, nikon, beginner, full hd, DSLR, 14 megapixel, digital SLR, d3100, Nikon D3100, Nikon D3100 Review